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Tenda W1800R review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £76
inc VAT

The cheapest 802.11ac router we’ve yet seen was also one of the most consistent performers in our challenging test environment


802.11n dual band, 4x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

The Tenda W1800R is one of the cheapest 802.11ac wireless routers you can buy, coming in at around £25 less than most. This is even more surprising, as it uses the fast AC1750 standard, with a theoretical maximum throughput of 1,300Mbit/s. Like most AC routers, it’s a bit larger than its 802.11n predecessors. It sits flat and has three replaceable antennas.

Tenda W1800R

At the front of the router, a bank of lights indicates the status of its various ports and features. At the back you’ll find a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, two USB ports, four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and a button that serves double duty as the factory reset switch and WPS button. It’s not an ideal combination of functions, be we encountered no problems with it during our tests.

The W1800R gives you simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi: a 2.4GHz 802.11n connection, still widely required by many laptops and mobile devices, and a 5GHz 802.11ac connection, which is faster but requires a compatible Wi-Fi adaptor to get the full benefit of its faster throughput. Neither channel is secured by default, so the first thing you’ll want to do is log into the router and add a wireless passphrase.

Tenda W1800R interface

The web interface prompts you to add a security key when you first connect to it, but as the suggested option is 12345678, you should change it to something less predictable. Enter your chosen keys, click OK and you’re almost ready to go. Click through to the Advanced section of the web interface, select the Wireless tab and correct the country entry. The router annoyingly defaults to America, which uses a slightly different set of wireless channels and can only use those up to 11. There isn’t a UK option, but France uses the same ranges we do, so pick that. The 5GHz settings option is locked to America if you wish to use 802.11ac mode. Once again, the US and European authorised ranges differ, but you’ve got no choice here.

Fortunately, the quirks of its channel allocation proved not to have too great an impact on performance. We tested the router using both Tenda’s £20 W900U Wi-Fi adaptor, which supports 802.11ac, and our laptop’s integrated wireless chipset, which supports both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands but only uses the older 802.11n standard.

At 2.4GHz, we saw similar performance using both the integrated Wi-Fi and the adaptor. The laptop managed 39.5Mbit/s at 1m, 38.1Mbit/s at 10m and 14Mbit/s at 20m. That last figure is particularly good, although we’ve seen better performance from other routers at 1m and 10m. Using the adaptor, we got a slight improvement to all scores: 42.7Mbit/s at 1m, 40.6Mbit/s at 10m and 15.2Mbit/s at 20m.

Tenda W1800R

Performance at 5GHz was very good all round. Although transfer speeds at 20m were a little slower than some rivals’, we were pleased by the strength and consistency of the connection maintained between laptop and router. Using the integrated wireless chipset, we got 87Mbit/s at 1m, 80.5Mbit/s at 10m and 12.6Mbit/s at 20m. The 802.11ac adaptor took at up to 119Mbit/s at 1m, 158.5Mbit/s at 10m and 25.2Mbit/s at 20m.

Priced at just £75, this is the one of the cheapest 802.11acs routers we’ve reviewed to date, and it proves that you don’t have to sacrifice performance or features to save money. You’ll need a compatible wireless adaptor to get the most out of its 802.11ac performance, but we were pleased to find that it worked will with our Centrino 2 laptop in all our tests. It’s a great and fast router, but its lack of UK settings means it just misses out on an award. If you can afford it, the BT Home Hub 5 is the better choice.

Basic Specifications

Modem typeEthernet
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportyes
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportyes
Turbo modechannel-bonding
Stated speed1,300Mbit/s


MAC address filteringyes


Internal/external antennasexternal
Upgradeable antennayes
Number of WAN ports1
Ethernet ports4
Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Other ports2x USB
Wall mountableyes
Power consumption on8W

Other Features

Dynamic DNSyes
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
DHCP serveryes
MAC spoofingyes
Port forwardingyes
WDS Supportyes
USB device supportyes

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB